When I think of my freshman year at college, I have many fond memories and can think of many important lessons. I don’t think there is any one single tip that would have made my first year of college incredibly different, but I have a few tips that would have been very helpful.
Learn to Budget and Keep a Budget
Between beer, pizza, restaurants, parties, snacks, clubs, and other miscellaneous expenses, your first year of college can get expensive fast. Make sure to take advantage of your meal plan and watch where you spend.
Do Not Get a Credit Card for Free Pizza
The laws have changed and credit card companies can’t market to college students as they did back in my day, a whole eight years ago, but that doesn’t mean financial institutions will not pray on your naivety.
Credit card companies gave away free pizzas, t-shirts, and other freebies to get students to sign up for a credit card that could end up costing thousands. If you want a pizza, spend five bucks on a pizza, don’t get a new credit card or bank account.
Have Fun, But Study Hard
You are at school to be a student, the fun parts are just a perk. Do not forget that. I knew far too many people who focused on beer pong, flip cup, and other intramural sports when they should have focused on calc, bio, chem, finance, accounting, or [insert class here].
Do not get kicked out, do not have your parents bring you home, and do not spend the next three years trying to fix your GPA. Start strong and your college life will be much less stressful.
Don’t Be Stupid
You will have a lot of opportunities to be stupid. One of my favorite memories was watching my friends shopping cart jousting in a school building. I once saw a friend free climb the math building. I can’t tell you how many friends were caught in the Halloween riot in 2004.
Have fun. Work hard. Watch your money. Learn what you can. And, most importantly, don’t be stupid.
SB’s Thoughts: You should try to spend as less as possible from your student loan, the quicker you repay your loan the early you will be debt free. Remember, today’s hardship is tomorrow’s comfort! There are various ways to cut cost on books, food and tuition while you are at college, weigh the tips and if applicable to you start following from day one.
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